Wednesday, October 5, 2016

You Just Don't Mess With Texas

Sveiki, Hola, Hello there!

Wow, what a week it has been! If I had one word (other than "fast") to describe this week, I would use "doctrine". I've learned so much about life and the gospel this week, and I have God to thank for it. Of course there've been lots of ups and downs, but God's hand and His word have been all over the place. I seemed to learn something new everywhere I went. Anyways, you already know how I feel about time by now, so I'll refrain from explaining how fast the week has gone by like I usually do. Some great things happened last week!

-Exchange with Elder Olsen from Texas
-MLC in Addlestone
-crazy member missionary experience
-driving test results

One thing I learned this week is that you don't mess with Texas. My exchange with Elder Olsen was pretty weird--not because of him though. He's a long, tall Texan, and what he lacks in cowboy boots he makes up for in stature. Our exchange was mostly talking to people on the street, but for some of the time we knocked a block of flats. Some guys opened the door and one was wearing a Spurs jersey, so Elder Olsen was able to connect right away. The guy wasn't interested, so we knocked the flat across the hall. As we did so, we could hear the group of guys in the flat we had just knocked. They were laughing and making fun of Texas and imitating Elder Olsen, and I reckon he didn't take a liking to it because he turned 'round and stared at the door's peephole. Apparently the guys were looking through because they all went quiet...then we packed up and left. You just don't mess with Texas...think twice if you're ever thinking about it. We had a few other strange encounters during our exchange that will forever be remembered. 

Monday was also a day that will never be forgotten. In our ward lives Jose, a very missionary minded Spaniard. To give you an idea of who he is, just picture a stereotypical Spanish guy, like you'd see in movies. That's him! Anyways, Jose does missionary work and Jose cannot be stopped. On Monday he introduced us to three different friends of his and we taught them all the Restoration. I even got to speak some Spanish to a couple of them. Teaching is much more fun than finding and that's when you really "lose yourself" in the work. We will continue to help these new investigators to embrace the gospel, but it's members like Jose--who's really nothing extraordinary--who move the work forward. We ended up getting 4 member present lessons that day, which is something to smile about here in the ELSM. All thanks to our amazing members!

Had my driving test on Friday. This is super painful to write, but basically I was super nervous and I failed! I think I really am ready, but my nerves just got the best of me so I'll have to take it again in the coming weeks. I'm planning to do the triple combo (me praying, the zone praying, and me fasting) to ensure that I make it next time. Ups and downs!

The highlight of the week was General Conference, of course. As a matter of fact, Conference is the highlight of my year! Many of my friends have already mentioned this, but there's nothing quite like Conference as a missionary. It is one of the most anticipated, looked-forward-to, prepared for events of the year. I can just tell you that the brethren who lead the church are inspired, no doubt. Those messages that you hear come from God and will carry us for the next 6 months if we read them, if we study them, and if we abide by them. So much talk revolved around the Book of Mormon, which I love. We are encouraged to read the Book of Mormon daily and are promised that if we do, then a "switch" will be turned on in our lives and we will feel the influence of the Spirit all the time. That's something we should all desire! I add my promise and testimony to that: when we read the Book of Mormon daily, we will grow, become who God wants us to be, and a switch will turn on leading to total joy. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

If you have the time, I'd love to hear what you loved most about conference! Let me know! Love you all!

Love, Elder Thomas


Exchange with Elder Brown from my group

Elder Senkans, moi, Sister Biesinger and Sister Moralez

Throwing it back to Buckingham Palace with Elder Reynolds

Elder Phelps and I reunite at MLC

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